Two little twin girls with same outfits praying by bowing down at a shrine - family photography, lifestyle photography

Shichi-go-san, Autumn & COVID

2020 was my fourth year shooting Shichi-go-san sessions with seven, five and three year-old children and their families. Japanese, international or bi-cultural children present themselves in kimonos to their local priests at a Japanese shrine. There, families watch as the priest blesses each child as they progress to the next stage of a long and healthy life. What struck me about 2020 was how diligent many of the children were about keeping themselves safe. While […]

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Black Lives Matter Tokyo March Moves to the Studio with Sierra Todd and Sophia Mirto

I’m on a bus heading towards Tsunan, Niigata to photograph a children’s outdoor camp and I get a message from a young fashion University student, Sophia Mirto. She said she saw my images of June’s Black Lives Matter March and asked me about featuring a few of my images in a BLM project she was working on. It took me by surprise because there were so many photographers, videographers, and dedicated photojournalists at the event […]

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Closeup shot of a man in a black shirt talking in mic with the people at a symposium of a movie - Tokyo Portrait Photographer

Covering My Invincible Compass Symposium @ Loft9

Seeing Tomoya and Matt happy and healthy after so many months of being on lockdown was a breath of fresh air. Matt Miller and KEEN’s journey with raising awareness of the mirco affects the March 11th earthquake disaster had on Tohoku children since I first photographed for Mirai no Mori 3 years ago. As with many people, Matt, the director and filmmaker of his documentary My Invincible Compass, organized his symposium with fewer audience members, […]

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TOPTIA Photography is now a Grad from the New York Institute of Photography

A little over a year ago, I wanted to find ways to better serve my clients and make them feel at ease with the services they were receiving. In Japan, where coming from established institutions are key items to look for finding a photographer, I wanted to be able to bring that anshin, or “at ease” feeling to all of my clients, Japanese-speaking or English-speaking. After several months of studying and applying both new and […]

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Black Lives Matter March in Shibuya, Tokyo

It was four years ago when I was at this very park covering the Black Lives Matter march organized by the African Americans Youth Travel Program. On August 6, 2016, the march’s adversary was 37 degree heat and humidity. On June 14, 2020, the list of adversaries ranged from rainy weather, to fears of becoming infected with the coronavirus, to a potentially formidable group of not one but TWO groups of counter protesters. Yet 3600 […]

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